Continental Resources Inc. on Tuesday unveiled its newest oil field in an area of southern Oklahoma that has produced some of the state's richest discoveries.
The South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, known at Continental as SCOOP, covers much of four counties in south central Oklahoma. The rock is an oil-rich portion of the Woodford Shale that lies beneath oil fields tapped by some of the state's biggest oil names, including Phillips, Noble, Hefner and Skelly.
“It's a huge opportunity for the company and another great asset for us because we're looking at an asset with rates of return that compete head-to-head with what we're doing in the Bakken” in North Dakota and Montana, said Jack Stark, Continental's senior vice president of exploration.
“With that as another opportunity that is widespread and repeatable, it gives us one more avenue of growth that has as much upside potential as we see in the Bakken.”
Continental made the announcement at its investor day presentation at the Cox Business Center in downtown Oklahoma City. The play includes parts of Carter, Stephens, Grady and Garvin counties.
The new field shares many similarities with Continental's biggest and best-known production area. Because of those similarities, the company already has an advantage in southern Oklahoma, Stark said.
“Technology transfer is a huge part of this business right now,” he said. “We're accessing what were once considered just source rock. To be able to do that takes technology.
“Anything we learn on one resource play can be transferred to the next play. There's always some adjustment here and there, but the bottom line is the technology we have perfected in the Bakken is directly transferrable to what we're doing here in the Woodford.”
At the end of 2010, Continental had 94,000 acres in the area with 3 percent held by production. Today, the company has more than 170,000 acres with 23 percent held by production, including 34 wells Continental has drilled in the area.